"This is where I do disagree with my colleagues. I don't want to criticise their tactics following the (Holyrood] election (in 2007], but let's put it like this: I would not have ruled out a referendum and I think it would have been a good time to hold it.
"The fact is that there has never been a majority for independence in Scotland. If a referendum was held, then the SNP would lose and would be finished.
"They are just playing a long game in the hope that they can persuade people to support independence by showing that they can govern competently."
The fact that the SNP Government keeps gurning about the money that they think Westminster should be giving them, and not necessarily owing them further backs up this issue. While Paddy said that Wendy Alexander was right in her call to "bring it on" her and the Labour party's execution of that demand was messed up and muddled.
The Lib Dems in Scotland have said:
"Paddy Ashdown is entitled to his own views on this matter, but the Scottish party has made its position on this clear.
"At this time, people should not be focusing on an independence referendum, but rather on the recession and supporting the economy and protecting people's jobs."
Quite correctly at this time we should be concentrating on economic matters but there will come a time when this elephant in the room may well have to be addressed, and that is something the party hasn't fully done for too long. Indeed the handling of that question was one of the few areas of divergence from the three candidates in the leadership election last year.